Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay

Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay

Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay

Child abuse and maltreatment is not limited to a particular age—it can occur in the infant, toddler, preschool, and school-age years. Choose one of the four age groups and outline the types of abuse most commonly seen among children of that age. Describe warning signs and physical and emotional assessment findings the nurse may see that could indicate child abuse. Discuss cultural variations of health practices that can be misidentified as child abuse. Describe the reporting mechanism in your state and nurse responsibilities related to the reporting of suspected child abuse.Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay

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Child maltreatment is a widespread issue that affects thousands of children every year. There are four common types of child maltreatment; sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. All of these types of abuse are very serious and can have many consequences for the children and families. The most common consequence of severe child maltreatment is the removal of that child from their home (Benbenishty, Segev, Surkis, and Elias, 2002). Most social workers trying to determine the likelihood of removal evaluate the type and severity of abuse, as well as the child’s relationship with their parents (Benbenishty et al., 2002). Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay
Many children are forced to live with domestic violence because one of their parents refuses to leave the relationship. In cases of women being victims of domestic violence and failing to leave the male offender, the women are also identified as offenders and are charged with failing to protect their children from avoidable harm, regardless of the limited choices they have (Friend et al., 2008). Although domestic violence occurred in 35% of the 1,248 substantiated incidents of child maltreatment, only 31 couples were investigated for exposing a child to domestic violence or not protecting their children from the violence (Coohey, 2007). In Minnesota the parent is said to endanger the child’s mental or physical health when the child is exposed to domestic violence. When police are contacted about a domestic violence incident the investigators need to consider all types of failure to protect the child, as well as the likelihood of a domestic violence incident occurring again (Coohey, 2007). In order to determine if the children will be exposed to domestic violence in the future, the investigator needs to consider many variables. Such variables include a history of domestic violence and other types of child maltreatment, a willingness by the perpetrator to change his or her behavior, and if the perpetrator has the ability to change. Domestic

Child maltreatment is a widespread issue that affects thousands of children every year. There are four common types of child maltreatment; sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. All of these types of abuse are very serious and can have many consequences for the children and families. The most common consequence of severe child maltreatment is the removal of that child from their home (Benbenishty, Segev, Surkis, and Elias, 2002). Most social workers trying to determine the likelihood of removal evaluate the type and severity of abuse, as well as the child’s relationship with their parents (Benbenishty et al., 2002). When children are removed from their homes there are many options of alternative housing. The places they are allowed to live are a relative’s home, foster home, or a group home. In a study of children removed from their homes, 68% went to a foster home rather than a relative or another form of alternative housing (Faller, 1991). Reunification with a parent is the most common goal that is set forth by Child Protective Services even though recurrent abuse is likely to happen based upon the prior type of abuse and the age of the child (Connell et al., 2009). Child maltreatment is becoming a prevalent problem that has numerous consequences for both the child and family.Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay

The Center of Disease Control and prevention defines child abuse as any act or series of events that results in harm, potential harm or threatens the child’s safety (Webb, 2007). While many people believe that child maltreatment is simply physical many other forms of maltreatment occur; sexual abuse, neglect and abandonment are also common forms of abuse.

Child abuse has for a long time been recorded in
literature, art and science in many parts of the
world. Reports of infanticide, mutilation, abandonment and other forms of violence against children
date back to ancient civilizations (1). The historical
record is also filled with reports of unkempt, weak
and malnourished children cast out by families to
fend for themselves and of children who have been
sexually abused.
For a long time also there have existed charitable
groups and others concerned with children’s wellbeing who have advocated the protection of
children. Nevertheless, the issue did not receive
widespread attention by the medical profession or
the general public until 1962, with the publication
of a seminal work, The battered child syndrome, by
Kempe et al. (2).Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay
The term ‘‘battered child syndrome’’ was coined
to characterize the clinical manifestations of serious
physical abuse in young children (2). Now, four
decades later, there is clear evidence that child abuse
is a global problem. It occurs in a variety of forms
and is deeply rooted in cultural, economic and
social practices. Solving this global problem,
however, requires a much better understanding
of its occurrence in a range of settings, as well as of
its causes and consequences in these settings.
How are child abuse and neglect
Cultural issues
Any global approach to child abuse must take into
account the differing standards and expectations for
parenting behaviour in the range of cultures around
the world. Culture is a society’s common fund of
beliefs and behaviours, and its concepts of how
people should conduct themselves. Included in
these concepts are ideas about what acts of omission
or commission might constitute abuse and neglect
(3, 4). In other words, culture helps define the
generally accepted principles of child-rearing and
care of children.
Different cultures have different rules about what
are acceptable parenting practices. Some researchers
have suggested that views on child-rearing across
cultures might diverge to such an extent that
agreement on what practices are abusive or neglectful
may be extremely difficult to reach (5, 6). Nonetheless, differences in how cultures define what is
abusive have more to do with emphasizing particular
aspects of parental behaviour. It appears that there is
general agreement across many cultures that child
abuse should not be allowed, and virtual unanimity
in this respect where very harsh disciplinary practices
and sexual abuse are concerned (7).
Types of abuse
The International Society for the Prevention of Child
Abuse and Neglect recently compared definitions of
abuse from 58 countries and found some commonality in what was considered abusive (7). In 1999,Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay
the WHO Consultation on Child Abuse Prevention
drafted the following definition (8):
‘‘Child abuse or maltreatment constitutes all forms
of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual
abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or
potential harm to the child’s health, survival,
development or dignity in the context of a
relationship of responsibility, trust or power.’’
Some definitions focus on the behaviours or
actions of adults while others consider abuse to take
place if there is harm or the threat of harm to the
child (8–13). The distinction between behaviour –
regardless of the outcome – and impact or harm is a
potentially confusing one if parental intent forms
part of the definition. Some experts consider as
abused those children who have been inadvertently
harmed through the actions of a parent, while
others require that harm to the child be intended for
the act to be defined as abusive. Some of the
literature on child abuse explicitly includes violence
against children in institutional or school settings
The definition given above (8) covers a broad
spectrum of abuse. This chapter focuses primarily
on acts of commission and omission by parents or
caregivers that result in harm to the child. In
particular, it explores the prevalence, causes and
consequences of four types of child maltreatment
by caregivers, namely:
— physical abuse;
— sexual abuse;
— emotional abuse;
— neglect.
Physical abuse of a child is defined as those acts
of commission by a caregiver that cause actual
physical harm or have the potential for harm. Sexual
abuse is defined as those acts where a caregiver uses
a child for sexual gratification.Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay
Emotional abuse includes the failure of a
caregiver to provide an appropriate and supportive
environment, and includes acts that have an adverse
effect on the emotional health and development of a
child. Such acts include restricting a child’s movements, denigration, ridicule, threats and intimidation, discrimination, rejection and other nonphysical forms of hostile treatment.
Neglect refers to the failure of a parent to provide
for the development of the child – where the parent
is in a position to do so – in one or more of the
following areas: health, education, emotional
development, nutrition, shelter and safe living
conditions. Neglect is thus distinguished from
circumstances of poverty in that neglect can occur
only in cases where reasonable resources are
available to the family or caregiver.
The manifestations of these types of abuse are
further described in Box 3.1.
The extent of the problem
Fatal abuse
Information on the numbers of children who die
each year as a result of abuse comes primarily from
death registries or mortality data. According to the
World Health Organization, there were an estimated 57 000 deaths attributed to homicide among
children under 15 years of age in 2000. Global
estimates of child homicide suggest that infants and
very young children are at greatest risk, with rates
for the 0–4-year-old age group more than double
those of 5–14-year-olds (see Statistical annex).
The risk offatal abuse for children varies according
to the income level of a country and region of the
world. For children under 5 years of age living in
high-income countries, the rate of homicide is 2.2
per 100 000 for boys and 1.8 per 100 000 for girls. In
low- to middle-income countries the rates are 2–3
times higher – 6.1 per 100 000 for boys and 5.1 per
100 000 for girls. The highest homicide rates for
children under 5 years of age are found in the WHO
African Region – 17.9 per 100 000 for boys and 12.7
per 100 000 for girls. The lowest rates are seen in
high-income countries in the WHO European,
Eastern Mediterranean and Western Pacific Regions
(see Statistical annex).Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay
Many child deaths, however, are not routinely
investigated and postmortem examinations are not
carried out, which makes it difficult to establish the
precise number of fatalities from child abuse in any
given country. Even in wealthy countries there are
problems in properly recognizing cases of infanticide and measuring their incidence. Significant
levels of misclassification in the cause of death as
reported on death certificates have been found, for
example, in several states of the United States of
America. Deaths attributed to other causes – for
instance, sudden infant death syndrome or accidents – have often been shown on reinvestigation
to be homicides (18, 19).
Despite the apparent widespread misclassification, there is general agreement that fatalities from
child abuse are far more frequent than official
records suggest in every country where studies of
infant deaths have been undertaken (20–22).
Among the fatalities attributed to child abuse, the
most common cause of death is injury to the head,
followed by injury to the abdomen (18, 23, 24).
Intentional suffocation has also been extensively
reported as a cause of death (19, 22).Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay
Non-fatal abuse
Data on non-fatal child abuse and neglect come from
a variety of sources, including official statistics, case
reports and population-based surveys. These
sources, however, differ as regards their usefulness
in describing the full extent of the problem.

According to statistical data, more than 7 million children in 2001 were reported to CPS (Child Protective Service) agencies and other official organizations to be the victims of child neglect or abuse, and more than a million of such cases were confirmed and investigated. (Potts & Mandleco, 2007). Additionally, it was found out that in most cases the abusive actions were registered from parents or their friends, or other family members.

In this essay paper on child abuse effects and causes, I will examine types of child abuse and examples and consequences of child abuse.

Child abuse cases can be subdivided into four forms: physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse and emotional abuse. According to the latest researches, the most common abuse type is neglect. Neglect means that caregivers or parents fail to provide sufficient attention and care to their children. Usually ignoring is noticed when a child is dressed in dirty or old clothes, lacks of hygiene, frequently absent at school, ill with no medical assistance and isolated from others. Neglect is usually reported by the people who are close to the child: teachers, doctors, nurses or neighbors. There are three forms of negligence: physical, emotional and educational.Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay

Physical neglect is the most widely noticed among children. Physical neglect is represented by careless actions of parents, including not providing adequate food, clothes, the place to live, medical care or treatment. Emotional neglect lies in inattention to child’s emotional needs, like support, communication, love, refusal to provide a psychological or medical assistance when a child with mental problems needs it, expect from the child more than he can in his age or development level. Educational neglect connected with parents’ refusal to provide essentially for the child learning: frequent absence at school or failure to enroll a child in school.

Physical abuse is the second type of abuse. It is connected with a noticeable physical effect on the child. Usually, it is related to children punishment when they are doing something wrong, but there are a lot of registered cases of physical abuse without any apparent reason. Physical abuse is often reported by doctors and teachers, on rare occasions by neighbors who notice different signs of severe physical injuries on the child body.

Emotional abuse is the third type of child abuse, and it is very hard to identify this sort of ill-treatment. It occurs when parents are ignoring their child, isolating it from others, assaulting child, rejected his/her value or request, expect from child more than she/he can provide. As a result of emotional abuse, a child can have speech problems, physical development lags, disruptive or hyperactive behavior.Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay

Sexual abuse is the fourth type of child abuse, and the least frequency reported type. It is connected with forcing the child to different sexual activities, including different kind of sexual contacts and manipulations with genitals, either adults’ or child.’ A child who is experiencing this type of abuse will show different physical disorders and signs, not normal for his or her age.

It is important to understand causes of child abuse to prevent it. According to the specialists in this area, there are three causes of child abuse: environmental causes, child problems, and parental causes. Familial causes are usually connected with young parents, who more likely will neglect child’s needs either then take care of him/her. In this group, we can also include parents who suffered from abuse and violence in their childhood and can reproduce only such behavior. Also, some parents are not differentiating discipline from physical abuse and trying to use violent methods to teach children right things. And the last subgroup parents with different psychological disorders, which are not able to make right decisions themselves.Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay

Ecological causes are connected with alcohol and drug usage by parents or relatives. Drunk parents are not able to think about their children’s needs. Another environmental cause is poverty. People who are poor and don’t have much money are not able to provide their children with needed care, things, education. Parents with marriage problems or divorced couples can hate their children because they changed the life of the couple, this usually leads to emotional abuse. Abusive mothers don’t care about their kids and annoy them. In the majority of cases, abusive parents expect their children to make them happy. And if a child is not able to meet such demands, parents start physically abuse their children.Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay

The last cause of child abuse is child problems. They are usually connected with child psychological or physical disorder. It is very difficult to take care of such child, and some parents are ignoring this child needs which results in an abuse of child’s rights.

It doesn’t matter what causes child abuse; each case affects a child in some way. The end effect of child abuse depends on its type: some of them have physical signs, and all of them have psychological results. According to the studies, the most harmful effect on the child has sexual and emotional abuse. The effects of child abuse depend on its type and can be divided to long term effects and short term. Short term effects of abuse can be registered quickly and can include signs of injuries, aggressiveness, fear of going home, fear of parents, isolation in class, difficulty in speech and communication and many others effects of child maltreatment.

As for long-term effects of child abuse, it is almost not possible to register them. Usually, they appear in adult age if the individual has not got medical and psychological help. Such effects can include difficulties in relationships, unexplained fear, depression, and anxiety. These effects can result in alcohol and drug addiction, in rare cases suicide.Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay

In the end, I can say for sure that child abuse is a worldwide problem. There are four different types of abuse which include sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse and neglect. The leading causes of child abuse can be divided into three groups: parent, environment, and child problems. Based on causes and type of abuse child can be affected physically and emotionally, additionally, there will be issues with social development and adaptation. It is critical to detect the signs of child abuse on early stages and save the child from after-effects.Child Abuse And Maltreatment Essay